As the discourse on transforming defense strategy reaches its peak in the new administration, three trends in criticism are apparent: The Department of Defense (DoD) is accused of having a strategy too rigid for the current security environment; junior officers and enlisted personnel have lost faith in the senior leadership and are voting with their feet; and procurement of Cold War-era weapon systems, neutered by the lowest common denominator approach of "jointness," is out of date.
Despite this confluence of growing discontent and a decade of downsizing, the Pentagon's decision-making apparatus has remained essentially unchallenged and unchanged. The number of staff officers has decreased in recent years, but the number of staffs has not. These are the symptoms of a bureaucracy gone adrift. DoD is staffed and structured to support forces around the globe in the bipolar confrontation of the Cold War. However, the structure credited with spending the Soviet Union into the grave may not be the right one for the next 50 years. The creation of a more dynamic and responsive system should be the first priority of the defense establishment.